EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

United Kingdom: Working time flexibility

United Kingdom
Phase: Management
Working time flexibility
Last modified: 10 October, 2019
Izvorno ime:

Employment Rights Act 1996

Engleski naziv:

Employment Rights Act 1996


Chapter III, Part XI


The employment contracts of some workers specify that they can be temporarily laid off without pay when no work is available. Such employees are not redundant, rather they are sent home from work for a temporary period because their employer has no work for them. These workers are eligible to receive 'statutory guarantee pay' from the UK government. 

The worker must have been temporarily laid off (without pay or less than half a week's pay) for either more than 4 weeks in a row or more than 6 non-consecutive weeks in a 13 week period. The employee must write to their employer within 4 weeks of their last working day in the 4 or 6 weeks period, advising that they intend to claim statutory redundancy pay.

To be eligible workers must:

  • have been employed continuously for one month (includes part-time workers);
  • reasonably make sure they are available for work;
  • not refuse any reasonable alternative work (including work not in the contract); and
  • not have been laid-off because of industrial action.

As of 6 April 2019, the daily maximum pay that a worker may receive is 29 GBP (€32.33 as at 10 October 2019) a day for 5 days in any three-month period - so a maximum total of 145 GBP (€161.64).

Payments made under the Statutory Guarantee Pay scheme count as income for the purposes of social security benefits/job seeker allowance. If an employer lays an employee off without pay, not paying monies due is an unlawful deduction from wages and employees can take this matter to an employment tribunal.   

Employers may have their own guarantee pay schemes. Such schemes can not provide less than the statutory arrangements. If an employer gets paid from their employer's guaranteed paid scheme, they can not be paid the statutory guarantee pay in addition.


The regulations apply only to contracts that foresee the possibility of temporary lay-offs, which are common in volatile sectors such as construction. If the contracts do not foresee temporary lay-offs, their introduction is subject to a change of contract to which both sides need to agree, as it may happen in case of a sudden crisis.

Cost covered by
  • National government
Involved actors other than national government
  • Public employment service
No, applicable in all circumstances
Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Eurofound welcomes feedback and updates on this regulation

Dodaj komentar